Tuesday, 21 March 2017
that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10
This is a continuation of the previous verse in which Paul explains why he and Timothy were giving thanks to God and praying for those at Colossae. He says that their prayers were also “that you may walk worthy of the Lord.” He had just mentioned the desire that they “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” This then logically follows that. With knowledge, one needs to then apply what they know, living out the life that their knowledge has told them is appropriate. In this, their walk will be worthy of the Lord.
In this state, their conduct will be “fully pleasing” to Him. The word Paul uses here is found only this once in the New Testament. It is areskia, and it indicates making an effort to fully and satisfactorily please. He is making a logical sequence of events in the believers’ lives that demonstrates the process of growing unto maturity. In such a state, the believer will be “fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
This thought goes backward now in order to reexplain what is “fully pleasing” to the Lord. Being fruitful indicates the positive results of a walk worthy of the Lord which is seen in every good work. Increasing in the knowledge of God is what leads to that state of fruitfulness. His thoughts form a mini chiasm as they first move forward to “fully pleasing Him,” and then moving backwards after that thought.
Paul’s desire for this to occur in the Colossians was so strong that he purposefully repeats the thought in order to solidify it in their (and thus our!) minds. Albert Barnes’ commentary on this verse is well worth citing –
“God is pleased with those who desire to understand what he is; what he does; what he purposes; what he commands. Hence he not only commands us to study his works…, but he has made a world so beautiful as to invite us to contemplate his perfections as reflected in that world. All good beings desire that others should understand their character, and God delights in those who are sincerely desirous of knowing what he is, and who inquire with humility and reverence into his counsels and his will. People are often displeased when others attempt to look into their plans, for they are sensible they will not bear the light of investigation. God has no plans which would not be seen to be, in the highest degree, glorious to him.”
Life application: If you are not growing in the knowledge of God through Bible studies, you cannot be pleasing to Him. Only when one takes the knowledge of God and His expectations, and then unites it with a walk in accord with that knowledge, can one be truly pleasing to Him. As always, it comes down to knowing the word. Study your Bible.
Lord God, thank You that we have not been left without instructions for how to conduct our lives in a way which is pleasing to You. They are there in black and white in the pages of the Bible, waiting for us to pick it up, grow in knowledge, and then walk according to that knowledge. As there is a Bible in almost every house, and 100 versions at the tip of our fingers on-line, we really have no excuse for not doing this, do we? Give us wisdom to think this through and to strive to know You, walk closely with You, and revel in who You are. Amen.